paint it red.

It's Wednesday--and I have another twist in the {distance makes the heart grow fonder} series for today. Since Chris and Mariah {from Paint the Desert Red} met at a wedding back in 2009, their lives have been filled with a whirlwind of trips and excitement. Multiple moves and life changes makes this story one which cannot be missed! Read on, folks...

Name: Mariah
Significant Other's Name: Chris
When did you start dating? August 23, 2009
At what point did you begin dating long distance? August 23, 2009

How do you fill your days while you're apart? It wasn’t hard to fill our days at first. We met at our friends’ wedding (they got married in Maine and we were both in the bridal party). After a fabulous wedding night kiss and over a month of phone calls and texts, Chris finally came to visit me in Boston and we made our relationship official.  Since we dated long distance from the start, we were both busy with work, friends and the newness factor of our relationship. After awhile, when the distance was harder to take, it helped to set mini goals. We tried to stay focused on planning each individual trip to see each other instead of getting fixated on the “what ifs” of our future. We were able to see each other about every six to eight weeks for one year, staying busy with our jobs and social lives but chatting everyday for hours to keep our connection strong. We also got great at surprises….like when Chris sent me a scavenger hunt full of riddles that lead to a massage at a spa and I mailed him cookies and perfume-spritzed letters every Friday until Christmas.

What do you find most difficult about being long distance?  The hardest part was not having someone there to hug you at the end of a stressful day, laugh with in person, or hold hands with walking down the street at night. It was the little things that were really tough… the things you just can’t get over the phone or in an email. It was also hard to figure out next steps for our relationship when we couldn’t even see each other. I think we both got a few grays that year.

How has long distance changed your relationship?  It forced us to truly get to know each other. We are much better at communicating and understanding each other now and are best friends before anything else. We also became experts of living in the moment and really doing our best to keep things interesting in between visits. 

What do you enjoy most about the time you have together?  I love being able to try new things, explore new places, and laugh together. Chris and I share a love of travel, food and How I Met Your Mother. We have taken ballroom dancing lessons, hiked in Hawaii, and spent hours playing catch on the front lawn. It’s fun to have a partner in crime.

What sacrifices have you made in order to make things work?  So many! I moved out to Indiana after a year of long distance so that Chris could finish his residency and I could start my nursing prereqs. It was hard to go from 0-60 and live together after a year of long distance. There were a lot of big stressors and heavy conversations throughout the first year, as we struggled to strike a balance and find a way to make both people happy. We moved to Arizona after a year of being in Indiana. It is awesome to have a fresh start in a place where we can both really grow and have fun.

How has your life changed now that you're back in the same place?  My life has changed in so many ways. I’m learning to be more giving, to compromise, to take chances. I’m learning you can have love and a career that you are passionate about. I’m enjoying having someone who is willing to stick it out through thick and thin with me and live each day with the goal of making me happy. It’s really refreshing to have love in my life that is so real and pure in every way. I know that long distance and the struggles to build a life together have made the foundation for our future stronger than ever.

Send your love in Mariah's direction today! I'm so happy she and Chris are finally in the same place--and can enjoy life together :) They are certainly an inspiration for those in long distance relationships that even the biggest sacrifices are worth it. See you back here tomorrow!


  1. I LOVE how you did this... thank you so much for making our story so special :) It is BEAUTIFUL!

  2. Such a sweet story! So happy they're together now :)

  3. My hubs and I never had to do long distance and I can't imagine how hard that would be!
    So happy you guys stuck it out and that you get to be together now :)

    Happy Wednesday,
    Left brain, right brain, pug brain.

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  5. Look forward to these posts every week! Never lets me down :) Great story!

  6. Love what she said about getting to know each other better over long distance! Such a sweet story :)

  7. It sounds like you both put so much effort into your relationship through scavenger hunts, letters and everything else you did to get to know each other and appreciate everything you had as a couple. So glad you're together now, good luck with everything! :)